Branstad, Reynolds make STEM stop at G-R

REINBECK – A group of Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School students had some very powerful people check out their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math projects Thursday.

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds visited the school as part of a STEM Town Hall meeting

Student Shelton Hatch was excited to show an osmosis experiment she did with fellow students Meg Edler and Madeline Mussig. They were three of dozens of students who showed the state leaders their projects.

“We’re very lucky to have them here,” Hatch said.

Student Amber Berendes showed the governor a group project she did on a way to make the human knee stronger.

“It was nerve-wracking, but it was exciting,” she said of talking to Branstad.

Branstad and Reynolds have been big proponents of STEM in the state as a way to match students in fields with potential growth in jobs.

They commended G-R for taking a lead in STEM programming.

“You are helping build Iowa’s growing STEM momentum,” Branstad said.

Reynolds said it’s been proven that not only is STEM helping prepare students for their future, but it’s also helping boost their test scores in math and science.

“It reinforces the need to continue to offer programs,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said the future of STEM includes moving from classroom learning to internships in the business world, something G-R students are already doing.

One of the STEM programs at G-R is the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education.

Ag teacher Jeff Mayes said several teachers at the school have stepped up to offer STEM programs at the school. Mayes said this is a first class educational opportunity for the students.

“We’re happy to help to be able to provide the STEM movement in Iowa,” Mayes said.

This STEM Town Hall meeting was the sixth and final meeting for Branstad and Reynolds as they made their way to regions of the state. They previously stopped at Fisher Elementary School in Marshalltown as part of this tour in March.